Canada’s Second World War Battlefront continues with the operation to secure Antwerp

It’s been four years since the Royal Canadian Mint embarked on its ten-coin Second World War Battlefront series of one-ounce fine silver coins. It was itself a kind of sequel to their First World War Battlefront range that had started the year before, but both ran concurrently for a while. The latest issue is another military operation in which Canadian forces bled for victory and performed with excellence – The Battle of Scheldt.

Not given the priority is should have at the time , the Allied command seeing the looming border of Germany as more important, the operation was to liberate the Dutch port town of Antwerp. Control of this vital port would open up the supply route to keep the D-Day breakout moving at full steam, so in early October, Canadian, British and Polish formations fought an entrenched Wehrmacht defence for control. It took five weeks and cost 12,873 Allied casualties (half Canadian), but the port was secured and the first convoy of supplies was unloaded on November 29, 1944.

This has been a good looking series to date, aided by the effigy of King George IV on the obverse instead of the usual Queen Elizabeth II, and this design by Canadian artist Mary McPherson is a good one. It depicts a Canadian Ojibwa soldier holding a machine gun, and in the background are elements recognisable of the campaign. A Universal Carrier, that small and ubiquitous utility vehicle sits in the background to the left, with a windmill – it doesn’t get more Dutch than that – to the right.

The whole series is shaping up to be one of the best Second World War commemorative series being issued today. With the main focus having been on the First World War centenary commemorations, many have forgotten that it’s also the 75 year commemorations of the second. We still like the Battle of Britain and the Battle of the Atlantic designs the most, but we’re sure others will prefer the soldier designs more than those depicting weapons of war. The usual maroon clamshell box inside a themed shipper makes up the presentation, and the mintage is capped at 8,500 (strangely, this series has a variable mintage). Selling for $94.95 CAD, it will be available from 6th August. A series worthy of a profile, I think.



 The Royal Canadian Mint’s newest Second World War Battlefront Series fine silver coin commemorates the bravery and sacrifice of Canadian soldiers who, 75 years ago, helped the Allies win control of the Dutch and Belgian shores of the strategic Scheldt river. This costly battle, fought from September to October 1944, secured a vital supply line that helped Canada liberate the Netherlands and made the Allied liberation of Western Europe possible. The coin was proudly unveiled by Mint President and CEO Marie Lemay and His Excellency Henk van der Zwan, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Canada. This ceremony took place at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre in Ottawa, in the company of Second World War veterans and Allied nations  representatives.

“The Mint is proud to honour Canada’s veterans through coins that preserve incredible stories of courage and sacrifice in defence of Canadian values,” said Marie Lemay, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “Our newest collector coin shares the valour and determination that contributed to the hard-won success of Canada’s soldiers at the Battle of the Scheldt.”

“While victory at the Battle of the Scheldt ultimately helped pave the way for the Allied liberation of Western Europe, it came at a tremendous cost. More than 6,000 Canadians were killed or wounded during five weeks of intense conflict with well-fortified German forces along the Scheldt River,” said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence. “As time passes, it is critical that we not forget the contributions made by Canadians during the Second World War, and I am grateful that the Royal Canadian Mint is paying tribute to their eternal legacy of courage and sacrifice.”

“The Battle of the Scheldt is a significant milestone in the shared history of the Netherlands and Canada. Led by Canadians, this fierce battle marked the beginning of the liberation of the Netherlands, said Henk van der Zwan, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Canada. “We are proud that the Royal Canadian Mint, with this coin, pays tribute to Canadian soldiers who bravely fought to make 75 Years of Freedom possible. The commemorations of the Battle of the Scheldt will be celebrated in the Netherlands on August 31. This will be the kick-off to a year full of celebrations to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands

COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 31.39 grams
BOX / COA Yes / Yes